Regional casino owner and operator Maverick Gaming has seen over 1,700 industry workers select Teamsters Local 117, with the union now representing members from across 19 Washington State cardhouses.
The local union based in Seattle was approved by an independent arbitrator as the exclusive bargaining agent of the workers through a card check process.
John Scearcy, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 117 said: “We are thrilled to welcome Maverick employees to our union. Workers in the many card rooms across Washington State deserve a strong voice in the workplace and a contract that protects their rights and reflects their priorities. We are committed to working with them to achieve that goal.”
Maverick employees will be Washington State’s first unionised gaming industry workers, claiming they were seeking representation with Teamsters because they wanted a forum on topics like salaries, health care, retirement protection, scheduling and other working conditions.
Teamsters Local 117 designation as the exclusive agent of the employees starts the contract negotiations process. Workers must meet in January to discuss their negotiating goals and select rank-and-file representatives to be included in the trade union negotiating committee.
Maverick remained neutral throughout the organising process and allowed workers to determine for themselves whether they wanted representation from the union.
“Maverick provides an excellent example of how a company should conduct itself during a union organising drive,” Scearcy said. “While some employers fire workers or aggressively spread anti-union propaganda, Maverick trusted its workers to decide for themselves whether they wanted to join the union.”
“This is a historic moment for workers in a previously unorganised industry in Washington State. We look forward to sitting down with Maverick and negotiating a contract that reflects the priorities of these workers – things like good family medical benefits, a secure retirement, and secure scheduling – all of the protections and benefits of a strong Teamsters contract.”